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Mar 26, 2012 6:38 PM by Shawn Kline

Senate now eyeing education reform

A series of education reform bills could go before the state senate this week. Last week, the house passed a couple of those bills.
Already, because so many people will be absent, at least one school district has the day off Tuesday to protest the reforms.

Despite strong opposition from teachers, house members passed bills making it hard for teachers to earn and retain tenure, and allowing low-income students in low-graded schools to transfer.
Now, the controversial reform could hit the senate floor this week.

"Teachers want to know today what the evaluation system is going to be," Senator Eric Lafleur said. "They're worried that if we change the rules on them, they're not going to have much say in how they're being evaluated."

Senator Lafleur from Ville Platte sits on the Senate Education Committee. He says the way the state evaluates teachers will likely get a complete overhaul. Though changes won't take place until next fall, teachers are calling area senators with a lot of questions.

"No matter how good a job they do, will they be listed as ineffective or lose their teaching certificate," Lafleur said that's one of the most popular questions.

Calcasieu Parish Schools have Tuesday off. Superintendent Wayne Savoy says its due to expected "excessive employee absences."
Teachers are going to Baton Rouge to talk with Senate Speaker Chuck Kleckley about some of the changes that will be implemented, including teacher evaluations but the ball is in Metairie Senator Conrad Appel's court.
Appel has the option to bring the bill up for final passage at any time.. He tells KATC Tuesday's session is a possibility if other senators want to bring it up for final passage but he won't make that decision until later.

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